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Trekking the Appalachian Trail


Day 1: Boston

Welcome to Boston – the historic big city with a neighbourhood feel. You’ll meet the rest of your group and your local leader at 6 pm for an important welcome meeting. Later, you could venture out for dinner. Located on the East Coast, Boston has some dynamite seafood. If you want to try a classic local dish, your leader can give you the lowdown on where to get the best clam chowder.

Day 2: White Mountain National Forest

The wilderness is calling and today you’ll answer. A half-day drive will deliver you to Franconia Notch State Park, where bubbling brooks cut through thick hardwood forest and granite cliffs lead to alpine peaks. Setup camp at Lafayette Place and then embark on your first Appalachian Trail hike, a 3-kilometre (1.9 mile) round trip to secluded Lonesome Lake, where still waters reflect the hills and mountains that surround it. This moderately challenging trek is a good way to get acquainted with the terrain, and your leader will give you instruction along the way.

Day 3: White Mountain National Forest

After an early morning wake-up call, pack up camp and set out on the stunning Franconia Ridge Trail, one of the most famous and beloved sections of the Appalachian Trail. You’ll walk for about 10 kilometres (6 miles) and the path is often rocky. It’s also steep – the trailhead (beginning of the hike) sits around 600 metres (2000 feet) and you'll climb roughly 900 metres (3000 feet) reaching around 1520 metres (5000 feet) above sea level. These conditions are demanding, but the sight of the jagged mountainside and lush forest are unforgettable. Views aside, there’s another reward waiting at the end of your trek – an included dinner at the Greenleaf Hut on Mt Lafayette. You’ll spend the night in this beautifully situated backcountry cabin, which has been a hiker’s haven since 1930. Sitting right on the tree line and looking over Eagle Lake, the accommodation tonight is a true off-the-grid highlight.

Day 4: White Mountain National Forest

Make the roughly 5-kilometre (3 mile) descent to Lafayette Place. Going downhill on the uneven ground isn’t easy, but you’ll get some more of those unforgettable views on the way. During the flatter sections, scour the sky for hawks and keep an eye out for American redstarts and sparrows in the trees. Sit down for lunch at camp and then decide whether you’d like to partake in an optional hike or take a trip on the historic Cog Railroad. Those who choose the railroad will ride the car on a three-hour roundtrip to the summit of Mt Washington. It’s quite a steep journey on a wooden track, and if it’s clear, you’ll get incredible views of the ranges from the open windows.

Day 5: Baxter State Park, Maine

Leave behind the thickets of White Mountain for Baxter State Park, where Mt Katahdin towers over the low lakes and spruce trees. It’s a 6-hour drive to your next destination and you’ll set up camp upon arrival. Park namesake and conservationist Percival P Baxter was right when he praised the mountain for its ‘massive grandeur’. In the evening, you might want to take part in an optional float plane trip, which takes you soaring above the incredible landscape of Baxter State Park and delivers you for dinner in a backcountry cabin.

Day 6: Baxter State Park, Maine

The official terminus of the Appalachian Trail, Mt Katahdin takes your breath away in more ways than one. If you decide to tackle the famed trek, you’ll need to scramble – using your hands to climb up and over boulders – for a large part of it and maintain footing on jagged rocks. Precipitous ridges, steep inclines and a certain amount of exposure are unavoidable and a round trip (15.8 kilometres or 9.8 miles) can take 8–10 hours. But there’s a reason this is one of the most celebrated hikes in North America. Even though it’s well-known, foot traffic in the park and on the mountain is tightly controlled, meaning the environment is pristine and relatively untouched. On clear days, the rough terrain and granite cliffs make for epic views, as the parks numerous lakes dot the landscape far below.

Day 7: Baxter State Park, Maine

If you climbed Mt Katahdin yesterday, today you are free to further explore the untamed parkland of Baxter. You may want to explore one of the many lakes by canoe – they’re just a small donation to hire – and on the water, you might be able to spot delicate grey jay birds and sparrows. If you can handle another hike, the trail to Sandy Stream Pond is a half-day hike on mercifully flat ground with great opportunity to spot moose.

Day 8: Boston

After your days in the Appalachian wilds, today it’s time to head back to civilisation. You’ll make the approximately 5-hour drive back to Boston, leaving New England behind. Enjoy a celebratory meal with your group in the city. Later, rest your weary limbs with a well-deserved evening in a hotel bed – a welcome respite after your nights of camping.

Day 9: Boston

With no activities planned for today, you're free to leave your Boston accommodation after check-out. If you're staying on in the city, why not check out an Urban Adventures Bowling and Bites tour? You can smash some pins and some snacks in true Bostonian fashion – see urbanadventures.com/destination/Boston-tours for more information and to book. If you would like to spend more time in Boston, we’ll be happy to organise additional accommodation (subject to availability).

Start date - End date Trip Status Price
13/JUN/2020 - 21/JUN/2020 FS DGAU$2556
(single supplement $615)
11/JUL/2020 - 19/JUL/2020 FS DGAU$2690
(single supplement $615)
05/SEP/2020 - 13/SEP/2020 FS DGAU$2770
(single supplement $615)
03/OCT/2020 - 11/OCT/2020 FS DGAU$2770
(single supplement $615)
12/JUN/2021 - 20/JUN/2021 FSAU$2825
10/JUL/2021 - 18/JUL/2021 FSAU$2825
04/SEP/2021 - 12/SEP/2021 FSAU$2825
02/OCT/2021 - 10/OCT/2021 FSAU$2825